I am writing in strong opposition to AB 1227, which seeks to impose an excise tax on the gross receipts on the sale of all firearms, ammunition, and so-called precursor parts, purchased in the state. I oppose this bill for the following reasons:
- Taxing an enumerated right is unconstitutional.
- This bill was amended to charge an excise tax of 11% of the gross receipts on the sale of handguns, and 10% of the gross receipts on the sale of long guns, ammunition and so-called precursor parts. That means the excise tax is imposed not only on the sale of the items but also any other taxes, fees, and additional charges associated with the purchase of the legal products.
- The excise tax penalizes the lawful buyers for the misdeeds of the unlawful.
- If the Legislature chooses to raise and expend resources to address violence of any kind — gun-related or otherwise, shouldn’t that be a cost borne by the whole of California’s taxpayers — rather than singling out those who choose to purchase a firearm?
- The overwhelming majority of firearms used in crimes are either stolen or secured on the black market by thieves. In fact, according to the 2019 U.S. Department of Justice Report on the “Source and Use of Firearms involved in Crimes” only 1.3% obtained the gun from a retail source.
- This is yet another wrong-headed and futile approach to solving the problem of firearm misuse.
- The recent ruling from the United States Supreme Court in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen established that to be constitutional, any law that involves infringements on the Second Amendment, must have a historical analog going back to 1791 showing how the legislation is justified based on the text, as informed by history and tradition. AB 1227 does not!
I stand with Gun Owners of California in opposition to AB 1227.
Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA